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Correctional Officer Salary (United States)

Those pursuing careers as Correctional Officers in the United States may have to make do with less; average incomes for people in this area hover around only $35K annually. Compensation ranges between $24K and $57K per year. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geography, followed by the specific employer and experience level. A solid majority report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Making up 72 percent of the field, male Correctional Officers greatly outnumber their female counterparts. Among folks in this role, job satisfaction levels approximately match the national average. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Correctional Officer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$24,692 - $60,305
(Median)
25K
35K
45K
60K
MEDIAN: $34,996
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Correctional Officer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$10.61 - $22.30
(Median)
11
13
15
19
22
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$24,692 - $60,305  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,036  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,496 - $56,927  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 888
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$10.61 - $22.30  
   
Overtime
$13.66 - $39.24  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,036  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,496 - $56,927  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 534
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Job Description for Correctional Officer

A correctional officer works at a prison, jail, or similar institution. They are responsible for maintaining the safety and control of all persons remanded to the custody of the facility. The help ensure and enforce all procedures and regulations as required by the jurisdiction and management.
Read More...
Correctional Officer Tasks
  • Responsible for transporting or moving prisoners.
  • Receive and secure prisoners until their release.
  • Maintain security of the jail or institution.
  • Supervise prisoners and maintain security, rules, regulations and cleanliness in correctional facility.

Common Career Paths for Correctional Officer

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It's not very common for Correctional Officers to move on to become Registered Nurses. Typical pay for a Registered Nurse is $55K annually. More often than not, Corrections Officer role is the next step for Correctional Officers moving up in the field. Corrections Officers usually make $36K per year. Many other Correctional Officers choose to take on a Security Officer role, where salaries are typically $25K.

Correctional Officer / Jailer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Correctional Officer

Many Correctional Officers can be found at Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Dept. of Corrections, and Florida Department of Corrections, firms that are at the top of the field. Federal Bureau of Prisons does shell out the biggest paychecks — the median in that office is $50K — but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $35K while workers on the upper end may rake in up to $65K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include Oregon Department of Corrections, Arizona Department of Corrections, and Dept. of Corrections, where Correctional Officers typically earn around $46K, $41K, or $37K, respectively.
Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Georgia Department of Corrections at $27K, and The GEO Group, Inc. where $29K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Correctional Officers there earn up to $44K.

Survey results show that Correctional Officers typically report just a few professional skills. Fortunate workers who know Safety Compliance can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 52 percent above average.

Pay by Experience Level for Correctional Officer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Correctional Officers, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $31K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $36K on average. Correctional Officers bring in $39K after working for 10 to 20 years. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; a Correctional Officer with more than 20 years of experience can earn $46K on average. A majority of respondents report one to nine years of experience. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up about one in four of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise one-tenth, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than one in ten.

Pay Difference By Location

San Diego
up arrow 79%
Chicago
up arrow 61%
Los Angeles
up arrow 54%
New York
up arrow 36%
Draper
up arrow 35%
Salem
up arrow 18%
Boston
up arrow 18%
Miami
up arrow 15%
Baltimore
up arrow 15%
Orlando
up arrow 4%
National Average
$34,000
Atlanta
up arrow 1%
Houston
up arrow 2%
Raleigh
up arrow 15%
Augusta
up arrow 19%
Columbia
up arrow 24%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Correctional Officers, busy San Diego offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 79 percent above the national average. Also paying near the top of the field are Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Draper, where Correctional Officers annually earn 61 percent, 54 percent, 36 percent, and 35 percent more than the national average. Location significantly influences compensation, with Columbia Correctional Officers earning much less — 24 percent less — than the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Augusta and Raleigh (19 percent lower and 15 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Correctional Officer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 34%
Experienced
up arrow 13%
Mid-Career
up arrow 5%
National Average
$34,000

Skills That Affect Correctional Officer Salaries

Safety Compliance
up arrow 52%
People Management
up arrow 2%
Security Policies and Procedures
0%
National Average
$34,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 242 votes.

Gender

Female
28%
female alumni
 
Male
72%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 71%
vision benefits Vision: 61% employee benefits None: 10%